This paper investigates how professional news media use Twitter. It conceptually distinguishes quantitative and skillful Twitter use and takes influencing factors on macro and meso levels into account. A structure and content analysis of Twitter accounts from 39 news outlets in five Western countries (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and the United States) is presented. The findings show that, overall, news media use Twitter extensively but scarcely exercise its connective and technological features. It becomes evident that the two types of Twitter usage mutually exclude each other. Elite media use Twitter more frequently and news agencies in a more skillful way which can be traced back to different self-conceptions and target groups. However, a country's media system and a news outlet's Twitter audience size prove to have only limited influence on Twitter use.